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Bronze Griffin Candle Holders - Antique matched pair
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Bronze Griffin Candle Holders  - Antique matched pair
Bronze Griffin Candle Holders  - Antique matched pair
Bronze Griffin Candle Holders  - Antique matched pair
Bronze Griffin Candle Holders  - Antique matched pair

This pair of antique candle holders is quite old, and we have recently been able to confirm that they most likely date back to the late 1800's or possibly the very early 1900's. I found them at an antique auction over 30 years ago and they were said to be quite old at that time. They promptly took up their station on an antique buffet, where they added a unique and mysterious touch.

We initially thought they were dragons of some type, and being collectors of Oriental objects, we thought that was their likely origin. However, in later years we began to research and found that they are depicting a very ancient bird, the Griffin, who dates back into Greek mythology, and was described as half eagle and half lion. The Griffins were guardians of the gold and were apparently fierce good-guys. In later years a number of German towns were named after the Griffin, and a look through European heraldry finds the griffin on many coats-of-arms. Most pictures show the Griffin as having four legs, the rear being lion-like and the front more of the eagle claws. This type of sculpture has eliminated the second set of appendages and elongated the neck in an exaggerated manner to hold the candle cup.

There are no markings at all on these candleholders. They stand 6-1/2" tall and are 7" from the front to the tip of the tail. They are a heavy bronzed metal, weighing just over a pound and a half each, yet they are balanced very nicely. The long tail is curled and the tip is a tripod support. I wonder if these were possibly designed as a type of chamber candle holder, because we discovered that they are designed such that you can put your index finger through the circular opening with the tail in the palm of your hand and the candle holder is perfectly, and comfortably, balanced for carrying. There is even a wax catcher below the candle. I can envision them being carried though the dark hallways of the old homes before electricity took away the romantic ambience.

The condition of these very old pieces is exceptional. We have seen very few offered for sale. Occasionally a single candle holder will surface, and most often they are bent or damaged so that the candle will not stand straight. We have encountered two pairs in Fine Art auction houses, and in both instances one of the candle holders was deformed. These are in wonderful condition; the dark patina is undamaged with just the hint of metal showing through in areas that were handled over the years.

I try to describe the items on this site as accurately as possible; however since most of the items are either antique or at best vintage, due to their age, they are sold in "as is" condition. Please examine the pictures and contact us with any questions, to request additional pictures, or to contribute further information, by using the Contact tab on our Home page. We are not experts and always welcome your input.
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